Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2008 August 1

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August 1[edit]

Tiny summer isles[edit]

the tiny summer isles are a few miles northwest of which scottish port149.254.120.136 (talk) 10:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

See Summer Isles and Loch Broom. Gandalf61 (talk) 10:11, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
That would be Ullapool laddie.--Shantavira|feed me 11:52, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
unless you mean the island of summer isle from The Wicker Man (1973 film), which is fictitious.

how much do all the people in the world weight?[edit]

strange question; how much do all the people in the world weight? i was just wondering, of course you can't known exactly but average person size times 6 billions, would that work? how many tonnes?

Well the population is thought to be around 6,680,000,000 and of that number, about 2,200,000,000 are children, so I'd grossly average the weight of all at 110 pounds. If both numbers are anywhere near the mark, then it would be 734,800,000,000 pounds/333,299,676,779 kilograms/333,299,676 tonnes.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:46, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Or 333,299,673 tonnes of living flesh.--Shantavira|feed me 11:55, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
wow, thank you. :) somehow i though it would be more, but i hadn't considered children.
What about the remaining 3 tonnes, Shantavira? Hair? Bowel obstructions? Chris Farley? Matt Deres (talk) 13:11, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, according to World population, it was estimated that there were just over 6.684 billion of us last month. This gives "333 499 254 tonnes" using the 110 pound estimate above and google. Zain Ebrahim (talk) 13:28, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
To help UK readers understand the answer, this would be about 52,517,142,840 stone. Edison (talk) 14:52, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
For comparision, that is about 5 times as heavy as the Three Gorges Dam. Gandalf61 (talk) 15:06, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Or about twice as heavy as <insert fat joke target here>. -- (talk) 15:43, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Don't even think about it.--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back (talk) 01:36, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I think that those doing such calculations would do well to consider significant figures when stating their answers. (Not that it really matters for this purpose, but saying that they would weigh 333,299,676,779 kilograms, versus 333,299,676,780 kilograms or even 333,300,000,000 kilograms gives a false sense of confidence.) -- (talk) 15:45, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, make it 52,517,142,840 stone +/-25%. (I think all the contributors realized the humor of all the digits coming from a wild assed guess as to the 110 pounds. At least I hope so!)Edison (talk) 20:32, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Re significant digits, I've lost about 1.2 pounds during July ^_^ hydnjo talk 02:24, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Weather Prediction[edit]

I recall reading/hearing that you can predict the weather with around a 70% accuracy by simply stating that the weather tomorrow will be the same as the weather today - and that the billions spent on weather-predicting equipment only improves that margin to about 75-80% but that that % change is easily enough to make the investment worthwhile. Is there any truth to this or is it just basically gibberish? (talk) 11:29, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

i would say that is true for most days, but every so often there will be one of those days when it's unpredictable and changes without warning, and than is when the weather predictors are more accurate because they monitor pressure and bars and isomorphs. for much of the week where i am its been the same each day, but there will come a time when that prediction will fails when it starts raining and then my predictions will be wrong for just one days untill the next changes. Mashpotatorman (talk) 11:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
(ec) How do you define "accuracy", and boil it down to a single number? It's probably easiest to measure temperature accuracy, but precipitation (amount and type) is probably more important in terms of financial and human losses. As an example, suppose that on Monday, I forecast a big, 12-inch snowstorm on Thursday. It turns out that the storm comes on Friday. In one sense, my forecast was lousy (off by 12 inches of snow on both Thursday and Friday). But, really, it was basically correct--people would know that a big snowstorm was coming later in the week, and plan appropriately (food at home, plow crews ready). That is, relatively small errors in the timing of a system can look like big errors in temperature or precipitation. I would also point out that having a day or two of advance notice for hurricanes (from satellites) and 10 minutes' notice for tornadoes (from radar) is quite valuable in terms of safety-of-life, but these advances will likely have a minimal impact on any "accuracy" statistic, because they are infrequent. -- Coneslayer (talk) 11:41, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking in terms of the generic sunny/overcast/rainy/snowing/sunshine & showers rather than in-depth report. I.e. if it is sunny today then it's around 70% likely to be sunny tomorrow. I appreciate that is boiling the weather down to a child-like level of detail. (talk) 13:33, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, right. That's not what the "billions spent on weather-predicting" is aimed at, though. Weather prediction is not just about that little picture of a sun in your newspaper—it has all sorts of economic ramifications. -- (talk) 13:50, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Arguably, predicting the weather tomorrow is less important than predicting the weather in an hour, or in 6 months. FiggyBee (talk) 13:55, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
That depends, of course, on whether or not you're expecting a hurricane, hailstorm, tornado, or icestorm tomorrow.... TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:10, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Just need a tiny bit of clarification of something that seemed vague to say the least?[edit]

I may simply be out of the loop; however, I looked up a wonderful man and his mission: Father Frank Provone and Prists for Life and I go this:

Priests for Life (PFL) is a Roman Catholic pro-life organization based in New York. It functions as a network to promote and coordinate pro-life activism with the primary strategic goal of ending abortion and euthanasia and to spread the Gospel of Life according to the encyclical of the same name written by Pope John Paul II.

I just don't see where a previous name is mentioned when "according to the encyclical of the same name " is said? Who is "the same name"?

Thanks!  :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:44, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

The "encyclical of the same name" is the Gospel of Life. FiggyBee (talk) 13:52, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Keeping items unopened, a morality/legal/blahblah issue[edit]

Note: This is not asking for legal advice. I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I just remembered again while answering a question on the Entertainment board. Is it unlawful to buy new copies of games/dvd/music and not opening them and download copies of the same things instead?

For example, I buy DS games but still use the ROMs because 1) I don't have to carry multiple cartridges with my DS and don't risk damaging or losing them, 2) loads and saves faster (if you play dungeon crawlers like Etrian Odyssey, you'd know why you have to save pretty frequently, and it takes two ticks to save with a ROM and like 10 for the cart), and 3) it keeps my games in pristine condition. I do that with anime too, where I watch fansubbed or DVD rips and I have a big shelf of unopened anime.

So the question is... is this illegal (etc) to any extent that I keep my stuff new, and does it change whether I plan on selling them in the future? This is probably more of a question about morals, but I don't care too much about the moral response, since for the most part, Copyright Jesus probably doesn't see it as too evil, if at all. The jurisdiction can be anywhere, since I'd be interested if there's laws in other countries about it too, even though I'm in the US. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 15:47, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not a lawyer but know something about UK copyright law. It seems to me that you have bought a piece of software which essentially is a licence to use it for your own purposes as prescribed by the copyright owners' terms and conditions, whereas, you have also downloaded/intend to dowload a similar piece of software without buying the necessary end-users' licence agreement, from a source that itself will, in all probability, not have paid for such a licence, nor a licence to act as an authorised distributor of said software. In my opinion, to quote my judicial friends on the bench, whilst the software you are keeping wrapped up allows you to use it perfectly legally, the download/ed copy does not. But I feel sure other more knowledgeable Wikipedians than I will offer further illumination. (talk) 19:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The answer to the question will almost certainly depend on your jurisdiction; as well, in many places there may not be a conclusive body of law (case or written) to unambiguously answer your query. The rules around what might constitute legitimate format shifting or space shifting of digital media have been the subject of a number of court cases in the United States (our space shifting article touches on a few). If you are in the United States, the DMCA may also come into play. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:49, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
In the UK, I believe you are allowed to copy such things for backup purposes, you can then use the backup the same as you can use the original, however you cannot use them both at the same time, or give away or sell one and keep the other. I don't know if downloading the backup would be allowed, you may have to make it yourself. This is just from memory, though, so may be completely wrong. --Tango (talk) 20:37, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the law exists in the States to make backups yourself, and you're not allowed to sell the backup or something similar, but I have no idea about downloading the backup either. But to clarify my original question, I don't mean to download a backup while owning the physical copy and then selling the physical copy. My actual practice is more like never opening the physical copy and 99% of the time not ever planning on selling it (unless for some weird reason, I have two copies of the same thing, but then I'd still own at least a copy of the physical copy. Then I would download the identical item and use that copy. --Wirbelwindヴィルヴェルヴィント (talk) 22:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Dudley Moore[edit]

I am looking for the titles, and if possible the location to watch these online for free, see In one, he is an advertising executive, but goes insane and is institutionalized, and then gets the other nutters to help him in his profession. Making adverts that are very true, and funny. The second him and his wife are trying to get pregnant and the doctor informs them that the reason they are having touble concieving is that his sperm is too hot and he then need to wear underwaer that has pockets of blocks of ice. Very funny. Any ideas people? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

The first movie you're looking for is Crazy People. I don't know the second one. Note that it is very unlikely that any free online presentation of either film will have the permission of the copyright holders; it would be violation of our policy on external links to point to a site where you could find copyright violations. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:06, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
One more thought—our article on Dudley Moore includes a list of his films: Dudley Moore#Filmography. We have articles on many of those movies; have you looked through that list to see if you could find the film you seek? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:12, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Hidden Pages[edit]

I just noticed that some Wikipedians have hidden pages that are supposed to be found out. Any idea how they look like? Can they be anything, pictures as well as text? Do they usually look like ordinary links?? (talk) 16:44, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Can you give an example? If people hide pages in their userspace they can be anything they want them to be. They can link to them or not. (A way to find them if they don't link to them is to look at the contributions of the user in question.) -- (talk) 16:45, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
A better way to find stuff hidden in a user's userspace is Special:Prefixindex. Algebraist 16:56, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
No, that's cheating! But yes, sometimes a user makes a page in their userspace with no links to it. There are even a few Barnstar for those who find them, like this and this. 20I.170.20 (talk) 17:02, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
As this is a non-standard feature I'd guess they could be anything at all, even this:... But watch out for traps & guardians! (talk) 18:28, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
There was one user, I'll never remember who, so don't ask, who linked to their secret page via a period at the end of a sentence on their userpage. Useight (talk) 21:41, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

New organization[edit]

I just noticed that, today, the page shows a different order of languages, with Spanish being second instead of German. Are they ordered now from more to less readers? What is the new criterion? --Taraborn (talk) 17:25, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

This issue was decided on Meta; see Top Ten Wikipedias poll. Sam Blacketer (talk) 18:36, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! -- (talk) 21:35, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Problems of genealogy[edit]

I'll do an example: I'm a great-grandson of Alan. Sophia is a double-great-granddaughter of Alan: her parents are first cousins and Alan is grandfather of both.

My question is: Is Sophia my second cousin or my double second cousin??

I've this problem for Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia and his wife Anne Marie of Orleans Please, answer me. Thaaaaaaaaanks -- (talk) 17:28, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Double first cousin says that a double first cousin is where a pair of siblings reproduce with another pair of siblings (eg. My brother marries my sister-in-law), and a double second cousin is where double first cousins have children. It doesn't sound like that's what happening in this case, so they wouldn't be double second cousins, just regular second cousins. However, if I'm doing this right, they would share the same amount of DNA as first cousins once removed. --Tango (talk) 23:01, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Tango. -- (talk) 09:43, 2 August 2008 (UTC)


Good evening, am very sorry to be a nuisance, it was only curiosity that made me write this, and the usual saying, ( you never ask , you never know } my name is Ron Harbridge i live in the north west, a place called astly..and was very intrigued to find out that there was a place called Harbridge even a village and a parish church witht he name Harbridge, i was hoping that you may posssibly have a contact telephone number of the Vicar of Harbridge Parish church, My wife wanted to drive down..until she realised where it was..So...if it is possible to pass on the telephone number i would be very home e-mail is (removed for your protection). and many thanks in anticipation, Regards Ron Harbridge —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean Astley Village in England? And where is Harbridge? − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 17:50, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
There's a Harbridge in Hampshire, but we don't have an article about it. Deor (talk) 19:22, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
We do now :) - albeit a very stubby one (Harbridge). I'd say that it's likely it would be covered by either the Bournemouth or Salisbury area phone book, which hopefully you should be able to find either online or at your nearest large library. Grutness...wha? 00:36, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
I've had a quick web-search, and there don't appear to be contact details for All Saints' Church, Harbridge online anywhere - but it's likely you could find that information from the office of the local diocese - all the contact details for that office are at their site. Grutness...wha? 00:49, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

RIM BlackBerry![edit]

Is it possible to get a BlackBerry Phone without the BlackBerry service? like ATT provides an offer without a Data Plan, but then there is a BlackBerry service too if I'm not wrong!The service that enables us to use the special BlackBerry button on the Phone!Don't we need to pay for that service too to make it possible to use the phone? Or is it not required??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, you can buy the phone and not get the service. You can use it as an ordinary cellphone without data access. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:32, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Looking for an image[edit]

I am working on a class project that examines how, as a culture, we give lip service to fighting against anorexia but continue to sexualize it anyway. One of the examples I want to use is this image, in which the model does indeed look decidedly unhealthy, but for some reason is posed like a pin-up girl. To emphasize the comparison, I'd like to find an image where a happy, obviously meant-to-be-attractive woman is posed as similarly as possible to the anorexic woman. Does anyone know offhand where I could find an image like that? (The Betty Grable shot isn't bad, but I bet there's something a lot closer out there.) --Masamage 21:28, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Here's a possibility. Very low-res scan, but maybe you could track down the original at a library somewhere. -- BenRG (talk) 22:43, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Here's a shot of Marilyn that's pretty close. Matt Deres (talk) 23:12, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Ask a friend or classmate to pose for you and take the picture yourself. -Arch dude (talk) 23:42, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Not strictly a pin-up, but you might want to consider Ingres's painting "La Grande Odalisque", which the anorexia poster seems to be based upon. Other classical/neoclassical paintings such as Goya's two "Maja" paintings (nude and clothed), Manet's "Olympia", and Titian's "Venus d'Urbino" are also worth considering. Grutness...wha? 01:00, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, interesting. That painting is almost exactly the same, so I'll use it. Thanks! --Masamage 22:48, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
At least the anorexic has the right number of vertebrae. :) --Sean 14:58, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Technical revaluation of currency[edit]

Concerning the technical revaluation of currency, i.e. deciding to change the numeral value of the currency, meaning that the denominations of the currency change, as do the prices, by the same factor, meaning that in the end, the same amount of currency buys the same amount of goods anyway, only the numbers are different. Can a country just suddenly decide to do this, or do they have to consult other countries first? JIP | Talk 21:38, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Countries do it occasionally, often after run-away inflation. According to denomination (currency) the term for this is "redenomination" or "cutting zeroes." Zimbabwe is doing it now (or has done it recently), because transactions in trillions or quadrillions of dollars are ridiculous. Off the top of my head similar conversions happened in Yugoslavia and Turkey. The human psyche does not cope well with huge numbers with long trails of zeroes. It's harder to tell apart and work with large units like 10,000,000 and 100,000,000 than it is for the units 10 and 100. See Denomination (currency)#Redenomination for a better explanation. For book-keeping reasons, everyone needs to be on board with the change, so switch-overs that take place are well publicized. I don't know if another country can actually stop another from revaluing its currency, but I imagine communication takes place. (talk) 22:53, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I dug up this possibly relevant document which I just scanned over which seems to have something to say about the UN and financial reporting and promoting good practices. I am really too lazy to read it in depth but this would imply some measure of "mandatory-because-it's-politically-good-form" consulting goes on. The "mandatoriness" of the consulting is probably directly related to how important a particular country's currency is to the global economy. (talk) 23:22, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Many countries have revalued their currency in this way - Argentina is one that springs to mind, and IIRC some African countries (Ghana, perhaps?) have also done so, and several countries had to introduce new standards in this way during the hyperinflation of the Great Depression of 1929 - most famously Germany, but also Russia and several other countries. China did similar after the 1949 civil war. In several of these cases the name of the currency was slightly amended "Mark" to "Reichsmark" or "Yuan" to "Gold Yuan", or similar. Another famous example is France's revaluation of the Franc to 100 old Francs in the 1950s. I think anon 71....'s comments about consultation being good form are pretty accurate. I don't know of any compulsory need, but it makes sense to consult first. Grutness...wha? 00:28, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
The German inflation was in the early '20s, not the great depression. Hyperinflation suggests this applies to Russia and the several others also. Algebraist 12:00, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
And Germany did not just chop zeroes and rename the currency; they also changed the way it was backed, so this is not an example. See Rentenmark. --Anonymous, 19:09 UTC, August 2, 2008.
Yes, it previous cases, chopping off zeroes has been done one the hyperinflation has been dealt with (or, as the final stage in a plan to deal with it). It makes no difference economically how many zeros there are, so it's really just tidying up after yourself. However, previous cases happened before finances became extremely computerised - Zimbabwe has had to chop them off early because the computers couldn't cope, that wasn't an issue in the 20's! --Tango (talk) 02:29, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

The answer to your specific question is no. Nations are, by definition, sovereign. They may do as they please with their own currencies. While treaty obligations may require informing other nations (e.g., in the case of a country deciding to abandon the euro), the usual case of a nation with its own, unique currency would not require any discussion whatsoever with other nations. The consequences, however, are an entirely different matter. DOR (HK) (talk) 07:46, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


How old does a man have to be in order to become a monk in the Roman Catholic Church? --Think Fast (talk) 21:53, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

[1] has some useful information. --Tango (talk) 22:48, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The Catholic Encyclopedia under lemma Novice states that no minimum age is fixed by canon law for admission. If under the age the applicant requires consent of his parents / guardians. The article seems to imply that 14 to 15 is a minimum age. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 11:33, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
To "become a monk," you join a religious order, which involves adhering to the community's standards, including its Rule. So it's not "the church" so much as the individual order. In addition, the answer depends on what you mean by "become a monk." You can join an order (e.g., as a postulant) without being under any vows; most orders will also require a period of temporary vows (e.g., vows for a fixed period, such as one or two years). Untimately Ultimately there's the full profession, the taking of perpetual vows. (The monastic vows are poverty, chastity, and obedience; the Benedictines add stability, which vow does not appear on the [stability] disambiguation page. OtherDave (talk) 04:24, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I remember when I was at Buckfast Abbey School, one of the monks I got to know had been sent to the abbey at age 11 by his mother. I can't remember when he actually became a "fully fledged" monk, but he was certainly at that level by the time he started to look after the bees. I was quite surprised to find a Wiki article about him! Karl_Kehrle --Worm | mroW 12:36, 4 August 2008 (UTC)